This June 20, 2021 photo shows the plight of the vehicle ferry terminal at the north end of Ocracoke Island. Vehicles are now stacking on the northbound lane of NC 12. The subcommittee of the NC 12 task force is recommending that the vehicle ferry terminal be moved away from Hatteras Inlet. Courtesy National Park Service

NC - Move Ocracoke ferry terminal, recommends subcommittee

The subcommittee of the NC 12 Task Force spent its Dec. 8 meeting focused on Ocracoke Island.

Slammed most recently by 2019 Hurricane Dorian and a November 2021 northeaster, NC 12 still delivers food, building materials, mail and medicine to Ocracoke residents, visitors and businesses from the south ferry dock.

In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian breached the island and cut off access to the Hatteras Inlet ferry terminal. The North Carolina Ferry Division calls the facility “South Dock,” as it is on the south side of Hatteras Inlet.

At the NC 12 subcommittee meeting, Win Bridgers, NCDOT’s deputy Division 1 engineer, said “something has to be planned at some point. South Dock is not long for this world.”

Dave Hallac, superintendent of National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, called South Dock “a completely unsustainable situation.” He predicted that Ocracoke was heading for a major crisis in 12 to 24 months.

A 2020 Addendum 1 to a previous NC 12 Ocracoke Island Hot Spot study delves into the relocation of the South Dock.

The study closely examined Alternative 7 which would move the ferry terminal six miles north of Ocracoke Village or one mile south of the Ocracoke Pony Pens.

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